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Coca-Cola in Kerala to whom does water belong? Photo Spilt Happiness by Peter Davis, some rights reserved

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Presentation on theme: "Coca-Cola in Kerala to whom does water belong? Photo Spilt Happiness by Peter Davis, some rights reserved"— Presentation transcript:

1 Coca-Cola in Kerala to whom does water belong? Photo Spilt Happiness by Peter Davis, some rights reserved

2 INTRODUCTION 2000 The Coca-Cola Company open a bottling plant in Plachimada, Kerala

3 INTRODUCTION 2000 The Coca-Cola Company open a bottling plant in Plachimada, Kerala They were invited in by the state government as part of a regional industrialization program, and receive subsidies

4 Plachimada, Kerala State

5 2002: BEGINNING OF PROTEST AGAINST COCA-COLA Adivasi (tribal people, outside of the case system) start sit-in in front of Plachimada bottling plant

6 2002: BEGINNING OF PROTEST AGAINST COCA-COLA Adivasi (tribal people, outside of the case system) start sit-in in front of Plachimada bottling plant The plant is accused of:

7 2002: BEGINNING OF PROTEST AGAINST COCA-COLA Adivasi (tribal people, outside of the case system) start sit-in in front of Plachimada bottling plant The plant is accused of: Using more bore wells than permitted in their license:

8 2002: BEGINNING OF PROTEST AGAINST COCA-COLA Adivasi (tribal people, outside of the case system) start sit-in in front of Plachimada bottling plant The plant is accused of: Using more bore wells than permitted in their license: the level of groundwater is said to have dropped from 45 to 100m below the surface

9 2002: BEGINNING OF PROTEST AGAINST COCA-COLA Adivasi (tribal people, outside of the case system) start sit-in in front of Plachimada bottling plant The plant is accused of: Using more bore wells than permitted in their license: the level of groundwater is said to have dropped from 45 to 100m below the surface Discharging polluted waste back into the water supply

10 2002: BEGINNING OF PROTEST AGAINST COCA-COLA Adivasi (tribal people, outside of the case system) start sit-in in front of Plachimada bottling plant The plant is accused of: Using more bore wells than permitted in their license: the level of groundwater is said to have dropped from 45 to 100m below the surface Discharging polluted waste back into the water supply The result for local people was bad smelling and tasting water, rashes and stomach aches

11 2003: Investigations of water supply District medical officer declares water unfit for consumption:

12 2003: Investigations of water supply District medical officer declares water unfit for consumption: local water supplies have high concentration of salts, from rapid depletion of supplies

13 2003: Investigations of water supply District medical officer declares water unfit for consumption: local water supplies have high concentration of salts, from rapid depletion of supplies BBC investigation shows that biosolids distributed as fertilizer contain dangerous levels of cadmium and lead

14 : Legal battle April 2003: Local Panchayat (democratically elected local government) cancel Coca-Cola license to operate

15 : Legal battle April 2003: Local Panchayat (democratically elected local government) cancel Coca-Cola license to operate May 2003: the Kerala State government over-rules the decision of the Panchayat not to renew the Coca-Cola license

16 : Legal battle April 2003: Local Panchayat (democratically elected local government) cancel Coca-Cola license to operate May 2003: the Kerala State government over-rules the decision of the Panchayat not to renew the Coca-Cola license December 2003: Kerala High Court rules in favour of the Panchayat, with the reasoning that the State has to protect the supply of water for the local people

17 : Legal battle April 2003: Local Panchayat (democratically elected local government) cancel Coca-Cola license to operate May 2003: the Kerala State government over-rules the decision of the Panchayat not to renew the Coca-Cola license December 2003: Kerala High Court rules in favour of the Panchayat, with the reasoning that the State has to protect the supply of water for the local people April 2005: appeal by Coca-Cola results permission to draw 500,000 litres of water a day. Panchayat ordered to renew license

18 : Legal battle April 2003: Local Panchayat (democratically elected local government) cancel Coca-Cola license to operate May 2003: the Kerala State government over-rules the decision of the Panchayat not to renew the Coca-Cola license December 2003: Kerala High Court rules in favour of the Panchayat, with the reasoning that the State has to protect the supply of water for the local people April 2005: appeal by Coca-Cola results permission to draw 500,000 litres of water a day. Panchayat ordered to renew license June 2005: Panchayat refuse to renew license; Coca-Cola appeal to High Court. Panchayat renew the license for 3 months

19 : Legal battle April 2003: Local Panchayat (democratically elected local government) cancel Coca-Cola license to operate May 2003: the Kerala State government over-rules the decision of the Panchayat not to renew the Coca-Cola license December 2003: Kerala High Court rules in favour of the Panchayat, with the reasoning that the State has to protect the supply of water for the local people April 2005: appeal by Coca-Cola results permission to draw 500,000 litres of water a day. Panchayat ordered to renew license June 2005: Panchayat refuse to renew license; Coca-Cola appeal to High Court. Panchayat renew the license for 3 months November 2005: Coca-Cola once again approach the Kerala High Court resulting in court order to Panchayat to renew license

20 : Legal battle April 2003: Local Panchayat (democratically elected local government) cancel Coca-Cola license to operate May 2003: the Kerala State government over-rules the decision of the Panchayat not to renew the Coca-Cola license December 2003: Kerala High Court rules in favour of the Panchayat, with the reasoning that the State has to protect the supply of water for the local people April 2005: appeal by Coca-Cola results permission to draw 500,000 litres of water a day. Panchayat ordered to renew license June 2005: Panchayat refuse to renew license; Coca-Cola appeal to High Court. Panchayat renew the license for 3 months November 2005: Coca-Cola once again approach the Kerala High Court resulting in court order to Panchayat to renew license January 2006: Panchayat renews license, imposing 13 conditions, the most notable of which is that the bottling plant does not use the local groundwater

21 : Legal battle To date the Supreme Court has not passed judgment on the appeals lodged at each stage of the legal proceedings

22 : Legal battle To date the Supreme Court has not passed judgment on the appeals lodged at each stage of the legal proceedings The Plachimada bottling plant has been closed since 2004, despite Coca-Cola declaring victory in the court battle

23 TRAJECTORY OF PLACHIMADA PROTEST

24 Adivasi & other locals sit-in infront of bottling plant

25 Investigations into state of water = media attention

26 Adivasi & other locals sit-in infront of bottling plant Indian activists become involved Investigations into state of water = media attention

27 Adivasi & other locals sit-in infront of bottling plant Indian activists become involved World Water conference held: participation of all Indian political parties, and international activists Investigations into state of water = media attention

28 Adivasi & other locals sit-in infront of bottling plant Indian activists become involved World Water conference held: participation of all Indian political parties, and international activists Investigations into state of water = media attention INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION; PRESSURE ON COCA-COLA

29 Adivasi & other locals sit-in infront of bottling plant Indian activists become involved World Water conference held: participation of all Indian political parties, and international activists Investigations into state of water = media attention INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION; PRESSURE ON COCA-COLA

30 PLACHIMADA and other water protests Accusation of high PESTICIDE CONTENT in drinks TERI INVESTIGATION into Coca-Cola Operation in India

31 PLACHIMADA and other water protests Accusation of high PESTICIDE CONTENT in drinks TERI INVESTIGATION into Coca-Cola Operation in India Independent investigation carried out by The Energy and Resources Institute (Indian NGO) finds:

32 PLACHIMADA and other water protests Accusation of high PESTICIDE CONTENT in drinks TERI INVESTIGATION into Coca-Cola Operation in India Independent investigation carried out by The Energy and Resources Institute (Indian NGO) finds: No pesticides in Coca-Cola Products

33 PLACHIMADA and other water protests Accusation of high PESTICIDE CONTENT in drinks TERI INVESTIGATION into Coca-Cola Operation in India Independent investigation carried out by The Energy and Resources Institute (Indian NGO) finds: No pesticides in Coca-Cola Products Over use of water resources in some areas.

34 PLACHIMADA and other water protests Accusation of high PESTICIDE CONTENT in drinks TERI INVESTIGATION into Coca-Cola Operation in India Independent investigation carried out by The Energy and Resources Institute (Indian NGO) finds: No pesticides in Coca-Cola Products Over use of water resources in some areas. Recommends closure of plant in Rajasthan

35 Ownership of water: Initial Court Ruling In December 2003 single judge bench rules uphold right of panchayat to force closure of bottling plant

36 Ownership of water: Initial Court Ruling In December 2003 single judge bench rules uphold right of panchayat to force closure of bottling plant The reasoning of the judgment is based on:

37 Ownership of water: Initial Court Ruling In December 2003 single judge bench rules uphold right of panchayat to force closure of bottling plant The reasoning of the judgment is based on: Public Trust Doctrine: it is the responsibility of the state to safeguard certain resources for the people

38 Ownership of water: Initial Court Ruling In December 2003 single judge bench rules uphold right of panchayat to force closure of bottling plant The reasoning of the judgment is based on: Public Trust Doctrine: it is the responsibility of the state to safeguard certain resources for the people Article 21 of the Indian Constitution: the right to life

39 April 2005: reversal of initial decision This judgment, entirely based on investigation of groundwater in the area by a court appointed committee, is that Coca-Cola can draw 500,000 litres of water a day

40 April 2005: reversal of initial decision This judgment, entirely based on investigation of groundwater in the area by a court appointed committee, is that Coca-Cola can draw 500,000 litres of water a day Reasoning is:

41 April 2005: reversal of initial decision This judgment, entirely based on investigation of groundwater in the area by a court appointed committee, is that Coca-Cola can draw 500,000 litres of water a day Reasoning is: Coca-Cola are a legal person, therefore have right to draw water from their land

42 April 2005: reversal of initial decision This judgment, entirely based on investigation of groundwater in the area by a court appointed committee, is that Coca-Cola can draw 500,000 litres of water a day Reasoning is: Coca-Cola are a legal person, therefore have right to draw water from their land Panchayat not qualified or informed enough to make proper decision

43 April 2005: reversal of initial decision This judgment, entirely based on investigation of groundwater in the area by a court appointed committee, is that Coca-Cola can draw 500,000 litres of water a day Reasoning is: Coca-Cola are a legal person, therefore have right to draw water from their land Panchayat not qualified or informed enough to make proper decision Criticisms:

44 April 2005: reversal of initial decision This judgment, entirely based on investigation of groundwater in the area by a court appointed committee, is that Coca-Cola can draw 500,000 litres of water a day Reasoning is: Coca-Cola are a legal person, therefore have right to draw water from their land Panchayat not qualified or informed enough to make proper decision Criticisms: Report does not address water quality (i.e. pollution)

45 April 2005: reversal of initial decision This judgment, entirely based on investigation of groundwater in the area by a court appointed committee, is that Coca-Cola can draw 500,000 litres of water a day Reasoning is: Coca-Cola are a legal person, therefore have right to draw water from their land Panchayat not qualified or informed enough to make proper decision Criticisms: Report does not address water quality (i.e. pollution) Paid for by Coca-Cola and drafted by representative on committee

46 April 2005: reversal of initial decision This judgment, entirely based on investigation of groundwater in the area by a court appointed committee, is that Coca-Cola can draw 500,000 litres of water a day Reasoning is: Coca-Cola are a legal person, therefore have right to draw water from their land Panchayat not qualified or informed enough to make proper decision Criticisms: Report does not address water quality (i.e. pollution) Paid for by Coca-Cola and drafted by representative on committee Possible inaccurate estimation of rainfall trends and water usage

47 ECONOMICS OF PLACHIMADAS WATER

48 Plachimada Coca-Cola brings money into area with low economic growth Coca-Cola brings employment ECONOMICS OF PLACHIMADAS WATER

49 Plachimada Coca-Cola brings money into area with low economic growth Drop in crop yields around plant; local must further afield for work as labourers Coca-Cola brings employment Polluted water; lowered standard of living Kerala State subsidies to Coca-Cola ECONOMICS OF PLACHIMADAS WATER

50 Who governs water? Indian courts tend to protect economic rights of population e.g.

51 Who governs water? Indian courts tend to protect economic rights of population e.g. Olga Tellis & Ors vs Bombay Municipal Council (1985) 2 Supp SCR 51

52 Who governs water? Indian courts tend to protect economic rights of population e.g. Olga Tellis & Ors vs Bombay Municipal Council (1985) 2 Supp SCR 51 M. C. Mehta versus Union of India 2004(12) SCC118

53 Who governs water? Indian courts tend to protect economic rights of population e.g. Olga Tellis & Ors vs Bombay Municipal Council (1985) 2 Supp SCR 51 M. C. Mehta versus Union of India 2004(12) SCC118 Millions in India still get their water from rivers, wells, and communal pumps therefore privatization of water would have dramatic effects on access to water.

54 Who governs water? Indian courts tend to protect economic rights of population e.g. Olga Tellis & Ors vs Bombay Municipal Council (1985) 2 Supp SCR 51 M. C. Mehta versus Union of India 2004(12) SCC118 Millions in India still get their water from rivers, wells, and communal pumps therefore privatization of water would have dramatic effects on access to water. BUT does final court ruling in Plachimada show that economic interests trump local concerns?


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